Concord solicits proposals to reuse Sewalls Falls Bridge elsewhere.
Wood plank sidewalk replaced on this bridge.
Wood plank sidewalk replaced on this span.
On April 16, 2014; bridge was advertised as needing a new home.
As I remember it, it was a through truss design and a magnificent entryway into downtown Plymouth. There was little support for saving it which is a surprise for me as I have heard that Plymouth University is where in the University System of NH one can take courses and acquire a certificate in historic preservation.
Latest on bridge, moneys voted.
See: "Henniker voters green-light money for bridge construction
By TIM GOODWIN
Concord Monitor staff
Sunday, March 16, 2014
(Published in print: Sunday, March 16, 2014)
Voters approved the final step to repair the Western Avenue bridge at yesterday’s Henniker town meeting – the money to fix it.
The bridge has been closed since the state deemed it unsafe in 2008, increasing traffic on the Patterson Hill bridge, which was rebuilt 20 years ago according to historic preservation requirements.
And after supporting the project since it first appeared on the warrant in 2009, voters approved a bond, 83-37, that will raise and appropriate $6.04 million for the cost to reconstruct the Western Avenue bridge. Last year, voters approved an article to cover the $384,000 associated with the design engineering portion of the project.
“We want to send a clear signal to the state and government that we intend to construct this bridge in Henniker,” said selectmen Chairman Kris Blomback before the vote.
The state Department of Transportation and Federal Bridge Aid will cover 80 percent of the construction, expected to begin in fall 2015. The town is responsible for the remaining 20 percent, or $1.20 million of the bond, but with construction more than a year away, some felt the vote should be pushed off.
“My recommendation is to wait till we have an idea of what the real bond amount will be,” said resident Jenn McCourt.
It was one of 19 articles Henniker residents passed at this year’s town meeting, only voting down one brought forward by petition..."
Study group to focus on Livermore Falls, and by extension, The Pumpkin Seed Bridge.
Union Leader March 19, 2014 article: "Group seeks to improve Livermore Falls area
By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent
The Livermore Falls area of Plymouth. (Courtesy)
PLYMOUTH — A group of representatives from three towns, college students at Plymouth State University, state officials and lovers of the Livermore Falls area of the Pemigewassett River are asking for public input about the future of that part of the river.
With help from the Plymouth Rotary, the Friends of the Pemi-Livermore Falls Chapter is asking for ideas for future usage of the falls area,
"It's an amazing site. To me it's as nice as anything in Franconia Notch or the Flume," said Thaddeus Guldbrandsen, PSU's vice provost for research and engagement.
The "vision session" meetings will be held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Holderness Central School and on Saturday, March 29, at 8:30 a.m.
The falls area, which is located within the towns of Plymouth, Campton and Holderness, is owned by the state. It is a popular area for swimming and sightseeing, and above the falls area is the historically important "Pumpkin Seed" bridge, the remains of a bridge erected in 1886 that was closed in 1959.
The state owns Livermore Falls and 174 adjacent acres on both sides of the river in the towns of Campton and Holderness. A December report by PSU students David Coy and James McManus identified that the area contains two beaches, and was the site of the state's first fish hatchery.
According to the report, the area has been the site of numerous mills, and the bridge is the last standing pumpkinseed bridge in the country.
In their report, the students recommended a new footbridge, repairing some of the broken fences protecting dangerous areas of the falls area, organized cleanup of the area and improved signage.
"The implementation of an offsite education program promoting stewardship of the land could help with some of the issues faced by Livermore Falls," the students said in their report.
The campaign is called "Let's Make More out of Livermore" as Rotarians are suggesting that the area be made into a state park.
The meetings will be "brainstorming sessions," according to the rotary.
The local paper, the Concord Monitor, headquarters in its building complex on the east side bank adjacent to this bridge. The Monitor has fought tirelessly to see the bridge replaced.
Status: Owned by city with plans.
Owned by the city now according to Lawrence Eagle-Tribune article. See: http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1876429317/Lawrence-buys-...
April 18, 2008.
And an editorial: http://www.eagletribune.com/opinion/x1876429879/Our-view-Cit...
April 22, 2008.
Funding mysteriously falls through.
Governor LaPage's Maine is not much into culture, historic preservation or the environment.
Historic New Sharon bridge will be torn down by the state
Multiple efforts to restore the bridge failed from a lack of funding.
By Kaitlin Schroeder firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW SHARON — A nearly 100-year old iron bridge downtown will be demolished after the three-person select board unanimously approved the state’s offer to demolish the structure.
click image to enlarge
OLD BRIDGE: New Sharon selectmen unanimously voted Wednesday night to tear down this 94-year-old bridge in the downtown. Maine Department of Transportation offered to tear it down with no cost to the town, but said if New Sharon continued trying to restore it and it collapsed then the town would have to pay for the clean up.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
click image to enlarge
OLD BRIDGE: New Sharon selectmen unanimously voted Wednesday night to tear down this 94-year-old bridge in the downtown.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
Select images available for purchase in the
Maine Today Photo Store
The Maine Department of Transportation department told the town that the Sandy River bridge is in imminent danger of falling into the river, and said the state will pay to have it removed.
If the town had rejected the offer and the bridge collapsed, residents would have been responsible for clean up costs and any damage downstream from the collapse, according to the department.
There is no timeline yet for the state to remove the bridge and state transportation officials are working to obtain the necessary permits, said Maynard Webster, chairman of the select board, which voted on the bridge demolition Wednesday.
Selectman Forrest Bonney said while a couple residents suggested waiting until the annual Town Meeting to let the voters weigh in on the state’s offer, he said selectmen couldn’t take the chance.
“It’s a great liability for the town,” he said.
The bridge, located parallel to the newer U.S. Route 2 bridge, was built in 1916 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is one of the last remaining bridges of its type of construction and the only one of its construction type in the state on the registry.
There have been multiple efforts to repair the bridge, but the efforts failed from a lack of funding.
Selectmen said a recent inspection by the transportation department revealed significant vertical cracking in the south abutment, leaving the bridge vulnerable to collapse into the river.
Bonney said most people who led a serious effort to restore the bridge have died.
Resident Kirk Butterfield, 55, said he thought the selectmen should not have made the decision to let the state tear it down, and should have instead had the voters decide at the annual Town Meeting.
Butterfield said he disagreed that the decision needed to be made immediately to prevent a collapse.
“I’m willing to bet it’s not a crisis situation,” he said.
Resident Anisa Welch, 48, said she supports the selectmen’s decision to pass the liability from the bridge on to the state, but said she understands why some residents have a hard time with it.
“It’s an emotional attachment,” she said. “That bridge, it is New Sharon.”
Selectmen estimated it would cost at least $2 million to repair the bridge.
Road Commissioner John Pond said the town hardly has the money to pay for necessary infrastructure work such as rebuilding roads, much less for restoring a defunct bridge.
“We can’t raise money for the roads, why spend it on this bridge?” he said.
Webster, longtime chairman of the select board, said he worked on several efforts to save the bridge, but said the time for saving it has passed.
“No one wanted it saved more than me, but it’s just not in the cards,” he said.
Bridge to be demolished by September of 2014. Kerouac group has given up in its preservation battle, bowing to political reality. Nothing of the old span is to survive as it would detract from its replacement named for a living politician.
The local paper's coverage of the dedication of the new Richard P Howe bridge named for a four term mayor.
Issue of vibration discussed by Jason at Bridge Hunter Chronicles... See: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2013/09/30/bridge-vibr...
See? This is how it works.
For a template on how this works out, visit the Concord Monitor webpage (now entirely free,) search it for "Sewalls Falls" and you can trace how the project to save the Sewalls Falls bridge with a replica along side, was converted to "replacement" with a modern span. Go back three or four years and read the Monitor articles, editorials and letters-to-the-editor and witness how the preservationists were defeated.
We may have sold your aggressive activism short here. You may have frightened the NHDOT, even through it seems you were discredited seemly before the public. You may pull this off after all, with Shaheen and Kuster coming in later, as inevitably they will, when it is safe to do so.
Nothing like an "emergency" to get the voter's dander up.
But there still is two wildcards that could upset your hand.
1) Vermont has a much stronger preservation ethos and may bulk at the bon marche. (Brattleboro merchants may not cotton to having a better access to the Hinsdale Super Walmart.)
2) Memories of the Bellows Falls Bridge debacle when a dangerous bridge wouldn't collapse and embarrassed NHDOT officials. Government officials hate that more than anything else.
Still, you may prevail.
Send Shaheen's office an email. Write it with bended knee, hat doffed. Write as a concerned constituent about your desire to replace these bridges. Mention her good work at the Sewall Falls bridge and that you think this would garner votes here too.
Acknowledge your mistake by removing the planks and apologize. Say you were disparate. And promise to stay away from any photo op Shaheen holds in Hinsdale.
She and Kuster are powerful. You are not. But you both want the same thing. So throw in with her and Kuster. Do it their way.
That said, it might still be too late. Shaheen is notoriously skittish. A few years back they were removing a Hinsdale dam across the Ashuelot River for river-run fish with federal money. Shaheen was to attend the celebrations and reap some profile. But when a few of us mentioned this was a historic civil engineering structure that powered the nearby Holman and Merriman Machine Shop, she cancelled. She doesn't like controversy. The dam was removed without her.